The Future of the Past

Dear Santa Claus,

I heard Christmas is coming to town and I think I should start living and forget my age now. 2020 has been an absolutely eventful year, regardless of a pandemic still raging, life goes on and there’s still a lot of history left to be made.

“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future” – Theodore Roosevelt

Life is short, the world is wide. It’s quite interesting to realize that when you reach a certain age or a new level of maturity, there were things that could mean a lot to you then all suddenly became no longer matter. Some of the things that once made you feel so proud of who you are unexpectedly became so uncertain, and you started asking yourself a bunch of questions: “Is it true? Why didn’t I know this? Why did that happen? How should I live my life moving forward?”.

When I was in my early 20s, I used to be so proud of the fact that our Vietnamese alphabet is a Latin-based language system, thanks to the Portuguese who came and invented some 500 years ago. Not only the language itself looks so much easier and more friendly to read for most people sharing a similar language system, the invention of the Vietnamese alphabet was considered a victory against the Chinese rule, and there was no way that I would want to learn Chinese for whatsoever reason. However, only a couple of years after, I’ve started to feel lost in many other conversations, realizing that I would have learned so much if I knew a bit more of Chinese, or to learn how to read “Chu Nom” (The Vietnamese language using classical Chinese characters) so that we would be able to understand better the arts of Vietnamese calligraphy or to know at least what was written in many our historical places.

In July 2020, I was fortunate enough to get to know the concept of Y Van Hien, a made-in-Vietnam apparel brand for Vietnam’s traditional costumes and accessories. Not long after, I was introduced to Nguyen Van Loc, the founder of Y Van Hien and it didn’t take long either for us to became good friends and partners. In the beginning, it didn’t seem that we can do anything together as I have not been able to see the synergy in between our hotel brand and Y Van Hien.

Designer and Founder of Ỷ Vân Hiên – Nguyen Duc Loc has been in love with ancient Vietnamese costumes for a long time. He has devoted much effort to restoring and introducing the traditional beauty of these costumes to the public, especially to the younger generations.

The project was prepared in less than 2 weeks, as we only thought that during this Covid-19 season, it’s important that we need to keep our activities and souls alive. The below is simply my act of “copy and paste” from some of the published articles – texts are provided by me together with the images and videos from our media partners to give you a better idea of what we do.

Y Van Hien & TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An – The Future of The Past – Video credit: The Vows Film

Taking the occasion of the Germany Unity Day and 45 years of Vietnam – Germany 45 years of diplomatic relations, TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An – the first TUI Group’s flagship hotel in Asia and Ỷ Vân Hiên, a Vietnam’s apparel brand for ancient costumes and traditional designs have successfully launched a special project for the first time.

The project started with an event series called “The Future of the Past”, held by TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An and Y Van Hien, were successfully launched in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from 08-11 September 2020 and at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An on 03 October 2020. The project allows us to travel back in time to experience a fine selection of Vietnamese history, culture and arts, which were well perceived by all the guests and participants of various nationalities and culture backgrounds.

Founded in 2018, Y Van Hien Joint Stock Company is founded by Nguyen Duc Loc with a mission to recover and preserve the ancient costumes, as well as bringing these gorgeous costumes closer to the people. The company started making ancient Vietnamese costumes and accessories such as hair covers, shoes, and jewelry which are made by skilled craftsmen. Besides in-depth research, Loc visited relics, village houses and traditional weaving villages to learn more about making ancient costume designs. Loc also gets help and advice from researchers and experts on ancient costumes in order to comply with the sewing rules.

“After many fashion shows, more and more young people love them and look for products of Y Van Hien. Many Vietnamese students studying abroad come back to Vietnam and order our costumes for their weddings,” said Nguyen Van Loc – Founder & Designer of Ỷ Vân Hiên 倚雲軒


Located 50 km South of Hoi An on tranquil Tam Tien Beach, the newly five star beachfront resort TUI Blue Nam Hoi An beckons travelers looking for an authentic getaway showcasing both the region’s rich history and unique beauty while soaking up the natural splendor of the Quang Nam coastline far from the madding crowd.


The Future of the Past:

Ỷ Vân Hiên & TUI BLUE Nam Hội An: Sự kết hợp giữa đương đại và truyền thống

Project Director: Camellia Dinh


Here comes the last quarter of 2020, the year that you might think that perhaps nothing else can surprise you anymore. I think it wasn’t so bad after all considering how much I have learned from this pandemic, to grow myself a little more mature and to get to know people a little deeper.

I feel blessed that I am living in one of the safest countries in the world right now and somehow, I still have a career and a peaceful life that I am deeply thankful for. Let us pray that this pandemic will leave us soon so it wouldn’t be too hard on those vulnerable people who are trying to make a living throughout these difficult days.

Image Credit: 2BroStudio – The garden workers at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An
Image Credit: 2BroStudio – A garden worker at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An
Image Credit: 2BroStudio – A watersports team member at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An

2BroStudio has made itself to my preferred list of media partners that I have the opportunity to work with. Harris Hoan Vo and the team have done a terrific job to help us discover more smiles at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An.

Try everything, keep the best!

I have recently decided that every time I see something good or someone who has done something that I found meaningful, I will make a record out of it. Either to give them a recommendation on Social Media or at least to write a blog post or to tell the story to related people that I know just to show my appreciation.

I first met this brother – Kyo Phan about 2 years ago when I was in charge of the Sales and Marketing activities for Legacy Yen Tu – MGallery. He was the make-up artist in the first photo-shooting project which I had the chance to take care of. He didn’t really have chance to talk much as was mainly for him to listen to me and to what other people had to say. We added each other on Facebook, occasionally “Like” and “Comment” to each other’s post but hardly ever talked, maybe once or twice because there was actually no reason to do so. We barely knew each other. I remember that one time I told him that I had a job change to Hoi An area.

About a month after, he contacted me and see if we could have a chance to work on another shooting, this time at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An, the new resort where I am currently assigned to work. I would love to say yes but the resort was not ready, I referred his proposal to another sister property in the area so that he could still get the work done. Then he said, whenever I need something regarding make-up or taking profile pictures I would need to let him know. I thought it was kind for him to say so but didn’t really care much at that moment.

I guess about 2 months after we finally had the chance to meet again when I was back in Hanoi for my business trip, we met up over a nice dinner at Ming Restaurant of the Pan Pacific Hanoi. He wanted to introduce me to the lead model in one of his recent projects – Dr Kha Le from Trend Smile. And the moment he introduced my name and how we met, I was stunned. He said I was the one who took care of him so well in one of the best shootings that he has ever done. Because of me taking time to introduce to him everything about the Legacy Yen Tu, from the pottery and the meaning of the rice-husk wall so he remembered and the crew was able to capture the best shoots of the property and models.

Then we kept talking the entire evening and ended up having a nice drink at Angelina’s of the Sofitel Legend Metropole. He reminded me that we needed to do a shooting for me so we decided to do in a few days after. And here are the results:

This is the most like-able picture of the entire album. I do not know why people like it so much ☺️
For this picture to be done, it took me no less than 30 times passing the road ☺️
I think I actually look more like an actress in this picture.
Another “celebrity” moment ☺️
I don’t know how they were able to capture this look…
And this too ☺️
I think it’s kind of fun to do this once in a while ☺️

And only once in a while should be enough I guess. But the experience was worthwhile as I do believe that I had the chance to work with one of the best teams in the make-up and styling industry in Vietnam. Kyo Phan is definitely a genuine, fun and talented make-up artist. I was also blessed to know Duc Nhat, his hair stylish and especially Ms Mai Giang who did a great styling job for me on the shooting day. She was so gentle and caring and so humble for her own tittle as Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012. I guess the next level of maturity when you know how to stop taking yourself too seriously.

Here are two of my favorite people: Mai Giang (Left) – Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012 & Kyo Phan (Right) – The super talented make-up Artist 🤗

He is also a fashionista and a great model, too 😇